Bill Gates on agricultural biotechnology
Bill Gates has been doing some reading on farming. On his blog, he's recommending the book "Tomorrow's Table: Organic Farming, Genetics, and the Future of Food" by Pamela Ronald and Raoul Adamchak.
"By the year 2050, Earth's population will double. If we continue with current farming practices, vast amounts of wilderness will be lost, millions of birds and billions of insects will die, and the public will lose billions of dollars as a consequence of environmental degradation. Clearly, there must be a better way to meet the need for increased food production.Is it true that we cannot afford to feed ourselves with natural, sustainable methods? What if we all grew at least part of our own food in our plots and yards? It really is as simple as sticking a seed in the ground and waiting for good stuff - if you learn some basic principles of growing food from your parents, friends and fellow gardeners. Do we really need to choose between eating engineered crops and environmental degradation? Is everyone just too busy to have time to water a garden plot? I don't have any idea of what the real answers are. I'm just wondering....
Written as part memoir, part instruction, and part contemplation, Tomorrow's Table argues that a judicious blend of two important strands of agriculture--genetic engineering and organic farming--is key to helping feed the world's growing population in an ecologically balanced manner. Pamela Ronald, a geneticist, and her husband, Raoul Adamchak, an organic farmer, take the reader inside their lives for roughly a year, allowing us to look over their shoulders so that we can see what geneticists and organic farmers actually do."